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Last week – after a long stretch of gorgeous and warm fall weather – we finally had our first frost! Needless to say, our garden is now done for the season – but we were able to salvage a few last green and partially-ripe tomatoes, as well as some peppers and herbs after the frost.
My husband Jack hates to let anything go to waste – especially food from the garden – and this recipe for Green Tomato Soup with Black Forest Ham was his brilliant (and delicious way) of using up those last straggler garden tomatoes!
This is a thick and hearty soup – and a perfect meal for the cooler fall weather! Green tomatoes have such a wonderful and unique tartness to them and they are perfectly balanced by the smokiness of the Black Forest ham (found at most supermarket delis) as well as the other vegetables in this creamy soup.
It’s quick and easy to make as well – and great for a weeknight dinner with enough for leftovers the next day!
This soup is a wonderful way to try green tomatoes for the first time, if you’ve never cooked with them before. Or – if you are already a fan – you will love this green tomato soup with Black Forest ham!
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Green Tomato Soup with Black Forest Ham
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 pound pancetta, diced small
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 2 cups chopped leeks (white part and cleaned of sand)
- 1 cup green bell pepper diced
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups diced green tomatoes skin left on, stem removed
- 1/4 cup dry lentils
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus some for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon sriracha
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 pound red ripe tomatoes, diced (reserve some for garnish)
- 1/2 pound Black Forest ham, diced
- Crème fraîche
- In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, sauté pancetta in olive oil until browned, about 4-5 minutes. Add carrots, onions, leeks and bell pepper and sauté 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one more minute. Add green tomatoes, lentils, broth, bay leaves, salt, pepper, cilantro, sriracha and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer uncovered 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and with an emulsion blender puree until almost smooth, or puree in small batches in a blender. Add cream, red tomatoes and ham. Stir, taste and adjust for seasoning.
- To serve, ladle into bowl and top each portion with a dollop of Crème fraîche, reserved diced red tomatoes and a sprig of cilantro.
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